Holiday Gift Guide: I Love Indy + Giveaway

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Love Indianapolis like I do? This holiday gift guide shares some of my favorite artisans and businesses from the circle city and beyond (because some of these items are outside Indianapolis but inside Indiana, and I just couldn’t NOT share them with you!).

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite things, including non-food related gifts like museum memberships, sports stuff and other ways in which I get out and explore the city. You’ll only read about companies/places/things that I’ve personally experienced – there’s so much of Indy I have left to explore, but I only wanted to write about what I can truly endorse. Inevitably I’ll forget something super important, but if so, please leave a note in the comments so others can see what YOUR favorite Indy gifts are.

Oh, by the way, there’s a sweet giveaway courtesy Visit Indy at the bottom of the post!

Food & Drink

Bacon from Goose the Market  - Okay, so they have a whole lot more than bacon available, but bacon was my gateway to Goose the Market. I don’t bat an eye at spending a few extra dollars on quality bacon, so when I walked up to their stand at the Broad Ripple Farmers Market and saw that bacon was available, I took a chance on it. I could go so far as to say it’s the best bacon I’ve ever had and I truly believe that. Goose the Market has several other items such as specialty meats, lobster, unique sandwiches, a beer/wine cellar and plenty of events to help you learn how to butcher meat, taste wine and lots of other cool stuff.

Don’t mind the terrible, unfocused photo – it’s still B-A-C-O-N.

Bacon from Goose the Market - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Gourmet popcorn from Just Pop In! - If you know me well, you know that popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. Just Pop In’s gourmet popcorn allowed me to step away from traditional butter flavor and enjoy more flavor combinations that I could ever imagine. I’ve enjoyed reviewing new flavors and even taste testing to pick my favorites. Last year I purchased several small bags as stocking stuffers – there’s at least one flavor that everyone will love! Each kernel is loaded with flavor all the way to the bottom of the bag.

Just Pop In - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Frittle Candy – Got someone on your list that has a sweet tooth? Frittle Candy’s original brittle comes in the right size box with the right size of brittle. It’s meant to be savored and not devoured, so you’re secretly teaching your friend some portion control because while they’ll be tempted to eat the whole box, they’ll love it so much they will savor it. Frittle Candy can also be an ingredient – crumble it up and put it in your ice cream or crust a pork tenderloin with it. All Frittle Candy is gluten free and vegan friendly.

Frittle Candy - I Love Indy Gift Guide

Sage’s Simple Syrups – Have a budding mixologist on your holiday gift list? Sage’s Simple Syrups is a company based in Whitestown, Indiana and offers unique simple syrups for your next cocktail adventure. With flavors like cucumber basil and roasted apple, these syrups are just aching for you to make them into your next favorite drink. Recently I made Cranberry Pear Cocktails with their cranberry syrup and I can’t wait to mix up the Roasted Apple syrup with bourbon and caramel sauce.

Sage's Simple Syrups - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Tell City Pretzels – It’s unfortunate that my first introduction to these pretzels came after a run-in at the Indiana State Fair because once I took a bite, I was so sad that I hadn’t been eating these all of my life. These pretzels are known for being thick, salty and offered in a variety of flavors. Since taking this photo, the packaging has changed, but the insides haven’t.

Tell City Pretzels - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Pasta from Nicole Taylor’s Pasta Market  - Another fun find from the farmers market, Nicole Taylor’s offers gourmet pastas in various shapes, sizes, colors and flavors. If you haven’t had fresh pasta and you have no desire to make it (like myself – well, maybe one day, but not today), Nicole Taylor’s is IT. Pasta as a gift? Why not! Pair it with homemade sauce, a bottle of wine and a baguette for any Italian lovers in your network.

Nicole Taylors Pasta Market - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

All things Indiana beer – Oh, my love of beer goes a ways back. Okay, I’m only 25, but still, since I moved to Indy I’ve watched Sun King Brewing grow and impact our community in many ways. Now, there are over a dozen breweries and more homebrewers than you can imagine. Instead of listing them all here (because I’ve done something similar for Visit Indy), I just want to remind you that growlers, koozies, t-shirts, gift cards and other merchandise purchases support our local breweries. There’s even a Craft Beers of Indiana wall calendar that provides love of Indy breweries every day of the year.

All Things Indiana Beer - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Girls’ Pint Out was the organization that not only taught me everything I know about beer, they gave me a way to meet friends in the city I had just moved to. Girls’ Pint Out provides social and education programs for women who want to learn about craft beer in a friendly environment. Support them with purchasing t-shirts and stickers from their online store.

Girls' Pint Out - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Meads from New Day Meadery – Beer is wonderful, but sometimes I want a drink that’s lighter and crisper. I have a need for mead! (Okay, that was cheesy, but I had to do it). Located in Fountain Square, New Day Meadery offers several hard ciders, meads and seasonal drinks that can be purchased by the glass or bottle. Give this unique gift to the wine or beer connoisseur in your family or bring it to your next holiday gathering.

New Day Meadery - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Bjava Coffee and Tea – My first taste of Bjava was at Dig Indiana, where I tried their Plum Buzz Iced Coffee. I went back twice for another sample, not just because the sun was bearing down on me but because it was just sweetened enough for my tastebuds. Holiday blends are now available for the coffee lover in your life, and what a great way to ween them off of not-to-be-named big box coffee shops with locally roasted beans!

Bjava Coffee and Tea - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Loose Leaf Teas from Kei Tea – I JUST found Kei Tea recently while I made a visit to the Carmel Winter Farmers Market, located in the garage underneath the Indiana Design Center on Rangeline Road. Kei Tea offered several unsweetened and sweetened samples (I prefer unsweet) to try along with plenty of smells. I have a weakness for tea, especially the loose leaf variety, so for a mere $6 I purchased a nice bundle of Hibiscus Tea, a naturally sweet, earthy and floral variety.

Not sure what to do with loose leaf tea? A few tips about why they’re better than the pre-bagged variety and recommended tools from this blog post will get you going on your new tea journey.

Kei Tea - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Adventures

There’s a reason I have an “Indy Adventures” category on this site. I love exploring Indianapolis and my Hoosier state, and thanks to Visit Indy, I’ve been able to “geek out” and share my experiences with many others. These are just a few of my favorite ways to enjoy Indiana that do not always involve food.

Museum Memberships – I am a member of the Indianapolis Museum of Art because I support art and arts education (and as an art history major who also interned at the museum, it has a special place in my hear). For $50, an individual membership offers free parking year round, discounts in the museum store and free tickets to special openings. The Indiana State Museum, Children’s Museum, Conner Prairie and Eiteljorg all offer individual or family memberships.

Here are just a few ways in which I explore Indy’s museums:

Ice Age Giants at the Indiana State Museum

Matisse, Life in Color at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Revisiting 100 Acres at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Experience Outdoor Holiday Fun at Conner Prairie

Experience Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie

 

Museum Memberships - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Midwest Balloon Rides – A hot air balloon ride might not be considered an extreme sport, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. Give the gift of a beautiful scenery by purchasing a sunrise balloon ride over downtown Indianapolis. See the photos from my trip here.

Naptown Roller Girls – Now in their 8th season, the Naptown Roller Girls offer entertainment for the whole family. If you’ve never been to a roller derby game, you’re truly missing out. John and I have been to several seasons now and we enjoy introducing people to the game. Purchase season tickets now or wait until it gets closer to the game for individual tickets. The first bout will be December 28, 2013.

Naptown Roller Girls - Holiday Gift Guide: I Love Indy

State Park Pass – For a mere $40, you can give the gift of exploration with a State Park Pass. All state parks charge a $5 entrance fee, but purchasing one of these park passes means you can visit as many parks throughout the state that you want without paying that fee. This is a great gift for families or friends who like to bike, hike, swim, travel, or just enjoy the beautifully scenery of Indiana. Purchase a Holiday Gift Pack for $99 a state park entrance permit, a 1-year subscription to Outdoor Indiana Magazine, and a gift card to a state park inn.

State Park Passes - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest – A book is an adventure? Well, if you decided to take a trip to see these artisans and farmers, it sure could be. But I couldn’t end this gift guide without mentioning it. Food for Thought has brought national attention to Indiana and is an essential publication for anyone interested in local food.

Food for Thought - I Love Indy Holiday Gift Guide

Whew, what a list. I’m sure I’m missing something, so thankfully there is Yelp’s Totally Bazaar on December 12 where you can purchase all of your Indy items in one place.

Giveaway

Ready to shop? Visit Indy is offering a giveaway that will let you enjoy a night out in Indianapolis to shop and breakfast to relax with the day after. Here are the details:

One Night Stay at the Wyndham Indianapolis West (must be used by 12/31/13)

$50 Gift Card to LePeep

Enter via the Rafflecopter below – one winner will be picked on Friday, December 6 and will be notified by the email you provide in your blog comment. If you click the “I Commented” button you MUST leave a blog post comment to be entered to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

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  • Tara

    You’ve compiled a great list!

  • Denise

    I’m going to show my Indy love by participating in the Santa Hustle 5k and by giving charitably to Riley hospital and donating my children’s gently outgrown clothes to Goodwill.

  • Trena

    What a great list, Sara!

  • Sara M.

    I plan on ordering some gifts online from my favorite local Indy places! Also plan on visiting sometime this winter to introduce my bf to my former home. :)

  • April Stegeman

    Super excited about the food for thought book. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kathy

    Already bought a Jack Heinz leather notebook from the Inventorialist. Also planning on a Sunday Afternoon Housewife tee for my grandson. Trying to shop local as much as I can.

  • LeeAnn Barnard

    The State Park pass will definitely be going in my spouse’s stocking! We love to hike at Indiana’s state parks. Great way to save on some entrance fees!

  • Jessica Turner Strange

    Great list, Sara! I had not heard of Bjava Coffee and Tea, so I will definitely be checking them out soon!

  • Solducky

    Love the list! We’re buying local for as many gifts as possible. Did a bunch of Mass Ave shopping already and got some great gifts. I could just LIVE at Mass Ave Toys. soluckyducky at gmail dot com

  • Jennifer Zentz

    Great list! I love putting together baskets of my favorite things from Indy as gifts.

  • Laura

    Nice! I’ve been considering a subscription to the bacon of the month club from Goose the Market as a Christmas gift this year.

  • Nikki

    Fun ideas! I know some people on my “To Buy For” list will be getting some cool local gifts listed here.

  • Maggie Thistleton

    I love this list! So many things I’ve never heard of – is it selfish to want to try them all for myself? :p

  • manda

    Love to anything on the list!

  • http://puregeekery.net/ Nicole

    I had never heard of “Yelp’s Totally Bazaar!” Hoping I can make it!

  • http://SocialMediarology.com Jeremy A Williams

    Awesome, Thanks for this list!

  • Leah Shattuck

    Great post. I got most of my holiday shopping done during Small Business Saturday, but I’ll have to pick up a few of these ideas to add on! I heart Indy and local artisans.

  • Chris Wilkey

    I love Sun King and I think its a great suggestion!

  • Brian Mack

    You had me at Bacon

  • rachel

    By shopping downtown!!

  • Tessa Barnard

    State Park Pass for my dad. Shhh… don’t tell! Also, shopping at the fun boutiques on Mass Ave.

  • Lori

    some of my faves! goose and frittle! :-)

  • Liz

    My goal is to get as many gifts as possible from local businesses and going to Yelp’s Holiday Bazaar should help me finish out my list nicely as well as your list! Thanks for all the great suggestions!

  • Suzanne Zaleski

    Thank you SO much for posting this! I was literally just trying to find out about State Park passes for 2014. Do you know if they are tax deductible? I go to a lot of IN parks (hiking/camping) through the year and was just wondering if it is deductible like my membership to the IMA.

  • Brooke Randolph

    We are trying to make the rounds of all the local events – TCM, Zoo, etc.

  • Rhonda Harris Grable

    I LOVE INDY!! I will use this to shop till I drop and explore Indy a bit!

  • Thom Coleman

    Plan on going to
    CITY SIDEWALKS
    On Georgia Street. And my daughter moved to East coast and planning on an INdy gift basket- Sun King will be part of it

  • Christy Denton

    I plan on ordering some Indy goods to give as gifts to my family this year!

  • Chris Ramsey

    Definitely had me when I got to the fresh pasta. My mom used to make ours fresh, and I have never had better than hers. I tried making it but could not do it.

  • http://www.momforless.com Crystal

    240 Sweet! Love that I can ship them anywhere.

  • jteek2000

    We are coming up for a weekend of shopping, a Colt’s game and a big sandwich from Shapiro’s.

  • Michelle M

    This is such a great, comprehensive collection…I mean a gift guide with bacon can’t go wrong! I plan on giving some local concoctions to some people on my gift list!

  • Melissa Shaulis Mazzur

    My displaying my ornaments I bought there!

  • Brittany Whitley

    We live about an hour away, and always take a trip to Indy around the holidays to see the lights & the tree downtown. It’s been a tradition of my families for years.

  • melissa e

    I will be visiting for my 1st time soon!!! Cant wait!!!

  • Sarah C

    I plan on showing Indy love by visiting the lights this year, and by supporting the Colts as well, of course!

  • sarah

    I love indy

  • Judy Estrin

    I have relatives that live in your wonderful city, This would make the perfect gift for them to get away for a night of fun! Sharing is my way of showing love through the holiday season.

  • CarolP

    Wyndham & LePeep …. love um!

  • Amanda

    Yuletide Celebration

  • Vicki

    Very nice!

  • Cyndi

    any way i can

  • Amy Nicole

    I’m gonna support the local business’s and shop there!

  • travelingfools

    My daughter lives in Indy and would love to make a trip to Indy to enjoy all the great things in the City!

  • Stephenie Sutton

    I am staying at wyndham this weekend. we are in INDY or the big game.